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Old 06-10-2008, 09:45 PM
 
3 posts, read 6,541 times
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Default What Northern CA city or town is for us?

My wife and I are in the Foreign Service and we're looking to buy a small studio condo somewhere in Northern CA, to rent it out while we're stationed overseas, and then use it ourselves in between assignments (about 4-6 weeks every 2 or 3 years). We lived in San Francisco from 2003-2005 and loved every minute of it. We are looking for a Northern CA city or town with the following:

1. University or college nearby (academic-year rental contracts would free it up for us during the summer)
2. Liberal community/good coffee/good hiking and biking
3. No central valley air pollution
4. Under $300,000 median price for studio condos.

Ideally, were looking for a mix between a Healdsburg and a Redding. Does anyone know if anything like this exists?
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:47 PM
 
799 posts, read 2,689,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUPO1576 View Post
My wife and I are in the Foreign Service and we're looking to buy a small studio condo somewhere in Northern CA, to rent it out while we're stationed overseas, and then use it ourselves in between assignments (about 4-6 weeks every 2 or 3 years). We lived in San Francisco from 2003-2005 and loved every minute of it. We are looking for a Northern CA city or town with the following:

1. University or college nearby (academic-year rental contracts would free it up for us during the summer)
2. Liberal community/good coffee/good hiking and biking
3. No central valley air pollution
4. Under $300,000 median price for studio condos.

Ideally, were looking for a mix between a Healdsburg and a Redding. Does anyone know if anything like this exists?
If you loved S.F. why not consider Santa Cruz?
It perfectly fits the first 3 criteria on your list.
The average price for a house is 750 - 8K but i imagine you would be able to find a studio condo for around 300K but i may be way off on that.
Oh, i just saw that you're looking to be more to the north.
But i'll suggest S.C. anyway just in case you wanna be a bit to the south of San Francisco.
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:22 AM
 
Location: yeah
5,577 posts, read 9,588,411 times
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Eureka/Arcata? Santa Cruz is too impacted by Bay Area housing prices.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:55 AM
 
799 posts, read 2,689,744 times
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Originally Posted by krudmonk View Post
Eureka/Arcata? Santa Cruz is too impacted by Bay Area housing prices.
We're (S.C.) impacted by our own housing prices.
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:25 PM
 
1,308 posts, read 3,690,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUPO1576 View Post
Ideally, were looking for a mix between a Healdsburg and a Redding. Does anyone know if anything like this exists?
I don't think so. One is a Sonoma County coastal valley wine town and the other is a central valley blue collar goods-and-services community that conforms only to criterion #4 on your list. That seems like an either-or decision.

As has been mentioned many times before on this forum, there are no affordable liberal communities. Any market that desirable will feel the effects of push-pull inflation on its home prices. I think you need to decide whether or not any place in the Sacramento Valley will meet your needs. If so, perhaps Chico comes closest. If you want to be closer to the coast, you might consider Novato -- a climate with REAL summers and SF right at your back door. Marin Co. is always expensive, but if ever there was a time to get your foot in the door of a tight market, this is it.
The one town that I think most conforms to your criteria is just a few steps outside the Golden State's northern border: Ashland, OR. Check it out.
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Reno, NV
1,137 posts, read 2,998,410 times
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I would definitely say Arcata or Eureka. Santa Cruz and Davis could also work.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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I would recommend Davis.
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:25 PM
 
64 posts, read 188,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krudmonk View Post
Eureka/Arcata? Santa Cruz is too impacted by Bay Area housing prices.
I'd suggest Santa Cruz as well, but what a lot of people do who are part year inhabitants is they rent out to visiting executives when they are on assignment. Executive rentals can bring in good money and vacation rentals for a 2-3 bedroom townhome in summer go for $1500-3500 a week during high season and with more people vacationing local, rentals are at maximum capacity. This can more than makeup for the high cost of housing.
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:19 PM
 
Location: yeah
5,577 posts, read 9,588,411 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubyskye View Post
We're (S.C.) impacted by our own housing prices.
I didn't mean it condescendingly. SC is close enough to be considered part of this region, and this region is quite expensive.
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:40 PM
 
Location: McKinleyville, California
4,868 posts, read 5,019,107 times
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I will also suggest Eureka and Arcata. Especially Arcata with it having Humboldt State University as its primary reason for existence.
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